Chicago, New York and Honolulu are all in the running to become the future home of President Barack Obama's presidential library, the Barack Obama Foundation announced Monday. The foundation said it would move forward with potential library sites at New York's Columbia University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Chicago businessman Marty Nesbitt, the board chairman, is expected to recommend a final site to Obama next year. The four finalists have until Dec. 11 to submit proposals. The four universities applied to host the presidential library earlier this year.
Nesbitt said the foundation will consider transportation, accessibility, economic development, community engagement and overall support from community partners. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former White House chief of staff, has been vocal about hosting the library. Obama represented Illinois in the U.S. Senate and, before that, part of Chicago in the state Legislature. He was born in Hawaii and went to college in New York.
“We are grateful to every institution that expressed interest in carrying President Obama’s legacy forward,” Nesbitt said in a statement. “These four potential partners have come the farthest in meeting our criteria and have each demonstrated a strong vision for the future Obama Presidential Library. We look forward to working with each institution to further refine their proposals over the coming months, and to presenting our recommendations to the president and first lady early next year.”
The other board members are Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama’s half-sister, David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, and J. Kevin Poorman, an Illinois businessman.